Sunday, April 25, 2010

Should I tell the Pope I was an abused child?

Poor Pope Benedict XVI.

He's having a crisis of major proportion arising all over his domain. From USA to Italy, Ireland to Malta, paedophile priests are popping up faster than you can say Holy St Joseph!

But if you know the history of the Catholic Church, he will survive it through, no doubt about this. The Catholic Church has been in existence for 2000 years. It is the only organisation existing today that has survived every other government, regime, dynasty or political entity in history. And it is essentially the same organisation from the beginning till now. Think of what it takes to do that and the power it wields to keep the organisation going for all this time! In other words, don't mess around with the Catholic Church!

Scandals have rocked the church before, some to its very core, like the Reformation, but ultimately, the Church continues to survive.  Having some deviant priests and religious are nothing new, why even the infamous and scandalous Borgias became Popes! The only difference today is the speed at which scandals are broadcasted throughout the world. And with ambulance chasing lawyers out for fame and a quick buck, the scandals are easily blown way out of proportion.

But that is not to say I condone any sexual misdemeanour by the priests, and I do sympathise with  those victimised young minors and the trauma they went through.

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI has been invited to visit Singapore next year. President SR Nathan extended his invitation through Foreign Minister George Yeo just last week.

Hmm, maybe this would be a good opportunity for me to tell the Pope of a shame that I carried for the last twenty odd years?

I want to tell him I was a victim of child abuse. I want the chance to tell him face to face and see him weep like he did in front of the victims in Malta.

Yes, I was an abused child and I have the evidence to prove it.

For all my adult life, I carried what I assumed were birthmarks on my body.  Hell, I even remembered being told by my mother that they were birthmarks. When I got married, my wife inquired about them and out of the blues it struck me that the marks were suspiciously not congenital!

No CSI  experts are required to tell me that my 'birthmarks' are an exact match of some despicable person's finger positions! Here are the photographic evidence to prove it.


These 'birthmarks' are the remnants of the abuse that I suffered as a child! No doubt about this too. Only that I have no memory of who did this despicable act. Someone pinched me so hard that the bruises became permanent.

Yes, I want to tell Pope Benedict XVI that I was an abused child. I want His Holiness cry for me!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Friday 2010, April 2nd.

          I was in church this morning for Good Friday service. The church was packed, with an additional 1000 seats outside on the piazza, and this was only 1 of 4 services scheduled for the day.

          As usual, the theme for almost every Good Friday always revolve around The Passion of the Christ. Friar John Paul preached on the symbolism of the cross. Over the years, I have heard many variations on this theme,  but of all the sermons that I can remember, only one has been vividly etched deep into my brain.

Back in 1987, there was a visiting missioner, Franciscan Friar Desmond Lean ofm, who was invited to preach at the Good Friday service. To paraphrase his sermon this was what he preached...

"When I look at the cross, 3 things come to my mind," then he told a story of his little niece Sarah. "Sarah, do you love your uncle Des? how much do you love uncle Des? Do you love me this much?" making a gap with his index finger and thumb.  Sarah shook her head.
"Do you love me this much?" making a space between his two palms about the size of a breadbox. Sarah shook her head again.  "then how much do you love your uncle Des?"
Sarah said, "I love you this muchhh!" and spread her arms outstretched.

I love you this muchhh!

"The second thing I see when I look at the cross is that it is a crossroad where the directions converge onto one  point. And like all things in life, Christ should be where all our directions lead to.

The third thing I see when I look at the crucifix is that it is on the back. The cross is something we bear, a burden that can be heavy at times but it is always on our backs. It is something we carry all our life."

Friar Des Lean's words struck a chord right within me at that time and has remained with me all these years. I remember Fr Des Lean.  (extract courtesy of Bro George Boggs ofm)